Author: Outcast Fishing
Great White Sharks, a winter Predator.
"If they decide they are going to eat, they are going to eat, they'll stay at the boat until they are hooked"
Never in my life would I have thought that I wished summer wouldn't arrive and winter would last just a bit longer. These last 3 winters of chasing white sharkshave been a dream come true. Overall, it was a good winter; these are our stats.
We ended up venturing out 8 times, and in those 8 trips we hooked 7 and tagged 6. Four were females, three were males. The sizes ranged from 7 foot to a big 16 footer that we hooked on New Years Eve.
"We were prepared for this crazed, blood thirsty demon... they're highly intelligent, inquisitive and a slow methodically moving fish that thinks before eating".
January 12th was our best day, where we hooked 3 different whites in a day, but only landed one of them. The baits varied, I still haven't found one specific thing they eat over another. We've learned quite a bit in this process. One of the more fascinating things is how relentless they are in feeding. If they decide they're going to eat, they'll stay at the boat until they're hooked.
Last Tuesday was a perfect example. We hooked a large one, 14 footer that went airborne. He ripped out about 50 yards of line, then shot out of the water, ran again, then threw his head around like a dog...and amazingly spit the hook. Within five minutes, he was back for another piece.
"They all have different personalities, but if I had to pick one, I'd say similar to a hammerhead. Very Inconsistent"
I've never seen any other fish return after a fight like a white shark. Millions of years of evolution have been branded in this animals head to not fear anything. If we miss a white shark, they ALWAYS return within 30 minutes.
One of the biggest misconceptions is their unbridled aggression. Its the biggest lie in the fishing world. They aren't like what I expected. Before we witnessed our first white shark, we were prepared for this crazed, blood thirsty demon wanting to kill us all. What I learned through my own experience is that they're highly intelligent, inquisitive and a slow methodically moving fish, that thinks before eating.
"The sheer power is indescribable... she's pulling the 6 thousand pound boat like a bobber again"
This shark moves in very slow, and curious manner, showing no signs of aggression. How do they fight? Its a mixture of everything. They all have different personalities, but if I had to pick one, I'd say similar to a hammerhead. Very inconsistent. A white shark will rip out 400 yards, then turn around and swim at the boat full speed and shoot out the other side. They're the only shark I've seen that know whats going on.
After hook-up and after the first run, they'll turn around and chomp at the leader, similar to a dog when you pull on his tail. On the side of the boat, they're sweethearts. Lemon sharks, blacktips, and bulls can all be a bit crazy. White sharks are pretty easy to deal with. Theres no trickery, no close calls or throwing of the tail. It would be easy to get too comfortable with them.
The sheer power is indescribable. Our largest one landed this year, a 16 footer weighing approx. 3,000lbs, could've went wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted. We began this routine of letting her take drag, then motoring up to her reeling it all back in hopes to slow her up.. it wasn't even making her flinch. We eventually locked the drag completely, and with 3 of us holding the rod on the bow of the boat, she pulled us like a sled at about 3.5mph. Not fast, but just like she was taking a stroll through he park.
She'd hesitate, I think almost out of curiosity, and then one slow sweep of the tail and she's pulling a 6 thousand pound boat like a bobber again. Tell me again how your reel with 60lbs of drag is going to stop that. Now I understand why Frank Mundus used harpoons when he would kill them. A reel just isn't enough.
"Hopefully my input to the scientific community will benefit the species as much as it has benefited me."
The speed of a white shark is impressive. The fastest ones seem to be the males in the 12 foot range. Lighting fast and erratic. But they aren't all similar like hammerheads or tigers. Sometimes an 8 footer will fight more than a 13.
The strangest thing I saw this year was a white shark we hooked on Feb 14. About 45 mins into the fight, we noticed a bouy hanging from its mouth. As we got closer, it wasn't a bouy, it was guts! Intestines from a seal or dolphin it had recently ate. The smell was horrible, and it wasn't a fishy smell, was something I'm not familiar with. Rotting mammal of some sort.
Overall, its been a great time. Hopefully my input to the scientific community will benefit the species as much as its benefited me.
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